Blog Archive

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Digital Cable Channels Conversion -- The Updated Report

In September we began a project to convert all of our old analog delivered cable television channels to new digitally delivered channels.  The project is necessary because analog delivery is a dead technology, and we can no longer buy equipment that supports analog services. Time marches on, even in Glasgow. We put up a good fight to maintain our analog channels far beyond the time when all other cable systems had already abandoned analog transmission, but the time has come for us make this overdue transition. This post is an update on how the project has gone, and is still going.

When we began informing customers of the upcoming analog shutdown through Facebook, the RBG Blog, Weather channel crawl, Cable 6 ads, "Analog Shutdown" screen put on random channels, and our website (the Glasgow Daily Times even helped us by running articles about the transition), we did not plan for the project to last this long.  Actually, we planned to finish this by November 2. On Oct. 28 we turned off eight analog channels, Ch. 7-Ch.12, Ch. 21 & Ch. 22.  Once these channels were shut down, our phones lit up and we began to really understand how many folks were not ready for the transition. Far fewer customers were ready than we had estimated. As a result, there was a mad rush for the DTA boxes necessary to adapt analog televisions to receive digital signals.  With the help of every member of the EPB team, we installed approximately 1,100 DTAs from October 28 up to November 16.  Though we said that we would turn the analog channels off on Nov. 2, once we realized how many customers needed the DTAs, we began altering our plans and rushed to change our schedules with the various programming vendors with which we do business. 

By November 16th we had the DTA install list down to under 40 customers.  We turned off HGTV, FOOD, TRAVEL, & GAC (Great American Country).  Surprisingly we had very few phone calls that day and only a couple that night.  So, on Tuesday November 17 we decided to turn off 10 more analog channels, including everything above Ch. 65:  Cartoon Network, ABC Family, E!, truTV, SyFy, History, FS1, FXX, CSpan, CSpan2.  Once again, our phones and our Facebook page lit up and we were shocked to learn how many customers still were not prepared for the transition. So, we ordered even more DTAs and began installing and issuing them. We have now pushed out 1,300 DTAs to quench the demand.  The last 100 ordered, arrived this morning and will be depleted through next Thursday's DTA schedule, so we are ordering 100 more. This is triple the number of DTAs that we estimated we would need! 
We are very sorry for all of the confusion and frustration this project has caused, but we know the network will deliver superior services as soon as we can complete the construction work associated with this transition. All analog channels will be turned off by January 2 2016.  So anyone wanting a new television for Christmas or looking for a Black Friday deal, make sure you are getting a television that supports Digital QAM tuner.  This will keep you from needing a DTA.  After that, all the remaining digital services will be reorganized by Feb. 18, 2016 to accommodate dramatic new services for our customers. We know that you, like us, are very anxious for that to happen!
 So, that is where we are on this long and complicated project. We thank you all for your patience as we work through this drastic improvement to Glasgow's network.